COMPREHENSIVE PLATE HEAT EXCHANGER PLATE REFURBISHMENT
DraCool-USA currently provides plate refurbishment services from both our Pennsylvania and Ohio facilities. Plate refurbishment includes cleaning, dye penetration testing, re-gasketing and heat curing of all plate packs. Our standard turnaround for plate pack refurbishment is 10-12 working days. We also offer expedited “Quick turnaround” service for customers with emergency repairs or limited down time.
THE REFURBISHMENT PROCESS
- Plates arrive at DraCool-USA dirty and clogged. They are received and logged prior to processing.
- Our non-abrasive cleaning process restores your plates by removing product buildup and water deposits.
- Between each step of our cleaning process the plates are power washed with hot water in our professionally designed plate washing facilities.
- Once the plates are clean they are checked and validated to be free of defects. Every plate is tested with a fluorescent penetrant method to ensure there are no cracks or pinholes. Early detection of plate defects eliminates cross contamination concerns and saves you costly downtime.
- Once plates are cleaned and validated, new gaskets are installed. For most plate packs the gaskets are installed on the plates using a variety of adhesives. Then the plates are heat cured (baked) at over 300 degrees in our large ovens. This process insures a solid bond between the gasket and plate and a much better seal when your plate pack is installed.
- Plates are then inspected and packaged for return to the customer.
In some cases the customer sends the entire heat exchanger to us for service.
Once the plates are refurbished we will return them to the site and re-install the plate pack. We will carefully insure that the plate pack is configured properly and each plate correctly aligned. As part of the installation process we close the unit to manufacturer’s specifications. This is a very highly pressurized closing process. In the larger units this requires specialized hydraulic tools. DraCool-USA does provide a hydraulic closing system for closing these larger units.
Our install team is professionally equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment to properly remove and install our customer’s plates packs. They are trained in the OSHA required safety procedures.
Some Options to DraCool-USA’s On-Site Service:
- Hydro-Testing: DraCool-USA will Hydro-Test the unit if the customer has the resources. Hydro-testing the unit consists of filling the unit with water one side at a time and them pumping air into the unit pressurizing it and checking for leaks. If both sides pass the pressure test the unit will be ready for operation. Should there be a leak during the testing we will open the unit and resolve the cause of the leak. This process is repeated until both sides pass the Hydro-test.
- On-Site Plate Washing: In some cases our customers request that their PHE be totally serviced on site. In some applications the gaskets can be re-used and the plates are not badly soiled. DraCool-USA will remove and wash the plates on-site. This is generally the case where the customer is doing periodic cleaning or down time is so limited that the plates can not be sent for refurbishment.
- On-Site Gasket Replacement: In some cases the customer requires that the plates be washed and the gaskets replaced on site. Depending on the PHE type, the gaskets to be used and the product passing through the PHE this process may be difficult or unrealistic. DraCool-USA will analyze each case and advise the customer of risks involved before continuing with this process.
- Emergency Service: DraCool-USA does provide on-site washing services as a 24×7 emergency product.
We have supported our clientele with complete heat exchanger sizing and installation planning. We have assisted many of our customers with trouble shooting heat exchanger performance problems. We have served as consultants in resolving conflicts between manufactures and users. We have assisted manufacturers in resolving warranty issues.
DraCool-USA takes pride in offering our customers a complete line of services from the beginning, in sizing the product to the on-going servicing of the product during its operational life.
The process is quite simple:
- A customer contacts one of our service centers and requests an exchange pack. We encourage our customers to do this as far in advance as possible so a plate pack can be reserved for them. Once a schedule is established the plate pack is shipped to the customer. If the DraCool-USA team is exchanging the plate pack it goes with the team to save shipping costs.
- The customer must furnish a list of plates needed along with plates and gasket information. Customer is than invoiced for the exchange plates shipped.
- Within two weeks, customer returns their used plates to DraCool. The returned plates are then inspected and tested. If the DraCool-USA team is exchanging the pack, the soiled plates are returned to our factory by our team.
- The returned plates are cleaned and checked with a fluorescent dye for holes are cracks. The good plates are gasketed and returned to the exchange inventory.
- The customer is invoiced per plate if any of the following occurs:
- Customer fails to return their used plates.
- Customer’s returned plates are a different material than ordered and shipped.
- Customer’s returned plates fail the fluorescent penetrant test and/or a visual inspection for excessive wear or pitting, holes or cracks.
The pricing for these issues vary depending on the type and material of the plate. The specific costs will be negotiated with the customer before the project is started.